Hot Wheels Unleashed: Batman Expansion DLC (REVIEW)

Dec 21, 2021

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Developed by: Milestone
Published by: Milestone
Released: December 2, 2021 (PC, Playstation, Switch, Xbox)

At the end of September 2021, Milestone released Hot Wheels Unleashed. On the surface, it was an arcade racer based on the diecast toyline. But under the hood, Milestone created a complex physics system that emulates driving toy cars around plastic tracks. The game was met with praise by those who invested and learned the physics models. Hot Wheels Unleashed was a deep racing game, disguised as a kid’s IP franchise.

Batman DLC Expansion

In December of 2021, Milestone released the first of three planned DLC packs - Batman. The success and value of this $14.99 expansion depends on one’s appreciation of the main game and one’s interest in Batman. Hot Wheels Unleashed - Batman DLC provides more of an excellent base game and wraps it all in the setting and imagery of DC’s Dark Knight.

Unfortunately, while the quality of the racing and tracks are solid, the depth is shallow. Batman DLC contains only about 10 new race events in the City Rumble mode. And some of these are time trial races on tracks players already raced on. This limits the premade content of the DLC and brings into question the overall value.

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But for players already invested in Hot Wheels Unleashed, there is enough content to keep players engaged and unlocking items in the free battle pass. The five new Batman DLC cars, each with unique handling and stats, are enjoyable to go back and use on existing tracks. Furthermore, each has some upgradable stats with the in-game gear currency.

Community Built

The Batman DLC and Hot Wheels Unleashed itself really has its’ longevity through the track creator and through playing community-built tracks. Consequently, the potential to experience and race is only limited by the creativity of the community. Fortunately, Hot Wheels Unleashed biggest success is the community. The community kept me coming back week after to discover new tracks and races.

The Batman DLC provides a new Batcave to build in. A host of new Batman themed posters and decorations for the in-game Basement. Sadly, there is only one new building component. But the Joker’s Funhouse split does change the dynamics of a race and threw off a good racing line and momentum multiple times. More Gotham themed building components would provide a lot more value to this DLC. Unfortunately, the building components, like the pre-built tracks are thin.

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Unleashed Potential - Leashed DLC

Hot Wheels Unleashed remains an incredibly fun and challenging racer. The Batman DLC does not change that core gameplay. On the surface, 1 component, 5 cars, 10 events, and some basement decorations may not be worth the price tag. The unlimited creativity of the community offsets the disappointing DLC content. If future DLCs provide more building components, they will increase the value for players. Hopefully, future DLCs of Hot Wheels Unleashed can better leverage the potential of the community.

Score: 7.25

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